There’s so much to do and see in NYC—but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your suitcase on a summer trip to the Big Apple. Now before we jump in, it’s important to know there’s no wrong way to travel. However you decide to get there, stay there, get around there, or immerse yourself socially, you’ll learn lots and have memories to cherish.
To make this quick and easily digestible, let’s think about your trip to NYC in three sections: your mode of travel, where you’re sleeping, and your daily meanderings. Now without further adieu, here are your “what not to forget” packing guidelines and checklist, whether you’re hitting up some Broadway shows or walking the High Line.
What to Pack for the Journey
Whether plane, train, or car, it’s important to think through temperature, comfort, and—of course—your tummy.
● Earplugs and travel pillow
● An eyeshade for sleep or to support your “don’t bug me” face
● Lotion and eye drops to help you combat that dry air
● Travel blanket and jacket
● Travel snacks for longer than expected flights and layovers (It happens!)
● Music, podcasts, and movies loaded on your laptop or tablet
● Book, magazine, or journal (and a pen)
● Pockets and packing organizers to keep things organizer in your carry-on
● Electronics cords if you are flying and a sturdy laptop sleeve. If your seat-backs have outlets, or if your checked-in bag gets lost, you’ll be glad to have your cords with you and stored in a handy packing sac.
● Carrying on? Remember to pack your toiletries in a TSA approved 3-1-1 bag.
● A refillable water bottle
Items You Need to Enjoy NYC
Walking the unfamiliar terrain of a new city is part of the magic of travel, and that is particularly true in New York City in the Summer. Between window shopping, sampling all that infamous street food, checking out all the restaurants you’ve been dying to check out, and scoping different monuments and museums, make sure to consider your comfort. And, what’s more, take all the precautions necessary to make sure you enjoy your day in the Big Apple. Use this checklist to make sure you’re prepared for a big day of exploring!
● Waist pack or cross-body bag to conveniently store your phone and money secure and close to you during your explorations (as opposed to over-the-shoulder bags)
● Comfortable shoes (and band-aids or moleskin just in case)
● Hand sanitizer
● Luggage lock (so you’re not worrying about valuables back at the hostel or hotel)
● Going-out clothes for checking out those nice restaurants or attending a Broadway show
● Comfortable Wayfinder backpack to stash your sunscreen, water, and more
● Safety whistle or pepper spray if you’re not sure of the area
● Emergen-C and vitamins to keep up your energy
● Sunscreen and a hat
● Umbrella and raincoat in your day pack if inclement weather is expected
● Digital maps
● A money belt to keep your stuff safe and secure.
Jessica’s Expert Packing Tips for NYC
● If you’re staying in a hotel, you can totally leave shampoo, conditioner, and your blow dryer at home.
● Pick out your outfits in advance and lay them out while packing for NYC. This will ensure you have something stylish to wear for every day of your trip and help prevent you from forgetting something important!
● Pack more than one pair of sandals in a Shoe Sac to keep all your shoes together and keep the dirt from the city streets from dirtying up your clothes. New York City is very much a walking city—comfortable shoes can make the difference between a fun day of sightseeing and an expensive day of cabs because your cute shoes gave you blisters!
● Make sure to put your liquid bag somewhere you’ll be able to easily access it when you’re going through security. The very top of your suitcase or backpack, or an outer pocket of your bag, works well for this.
● Think through what you will need for the plane and lay that out too when you’re packing for NYC—but don’t pack that in your carry-on because it’ll be out of reach! Stash those in-flight essentials—like books, magazines, earplugs, and an eye mask—in your backpack or purse.
Once you’re in New York City, put on your fancy-pants and let your jaw drop in awe of the amazing talent on the Broadway stage. We look forward to the new things you’ll see and experience on your big trip! You’re in a new place to experience new things, so lean into it and have an awesome time. Better yet, tell us about your trip, and share your stories on social media.